Saturday, March 13, 2010

More Bitching and (a little) Backpedaling

Wow - the parents are really coming out of the woodwork to bitch and complain about the downsides of parenting. Love it. Here's another mom-authorized bitchfest entitled 10 things no one told you about work-life balance with kids. As is the usual custom with parental bitchfests, while she spends the bulk of her article dishing the shit, she is careful to end her bitchfest with the requisite pro-parenting propaganda (The Backpedal) - lest you be left with the idea that she is promoting the message that having kids is not worth it (which would make her a terrible, terrible person, a bad mom, and a traitor to all the other long-suffering moms who need constant reminders that having kids wasn't the biggest mistake of their lives).

I must say I find the title of her article curious. No one told her about work-life balance with kids? Do we really need someone to tell us about this? How is it possible to live in our society and observe other people (with kids) and not notice that being a parent royally screws up a person's life and turns it into a major stress-fest? I don't need anyone to write a list out for me to give me the heads up. All I have to do is look around me at the people I know who have kids and I can see that having kids = sleep deprivation, exhaustion, stress, constant upset, negative impact on career and job performance, financial strain, weight gain, and the list goes on and on. How is it that this author was surprised to encounter all these negative changes in her life once she had kids? What planet does she live on?

Oh, that's right. She probably bought into all the pro-parenting propaganda that was spoonfed to her during her entire pre-kid life like, "it's so worth it", "it's the most important and most rewarding job in the world", "it's the best thing you can do", "you can do it all", "you just make it work" (you know - the same propaganda we childfree people were smart enough to recognize as a BS brainwashing scam), while turning a blind eye to the conflicting evidence before her very eyes. It's interesting how the human mind works, isn't it - how people believe what they want to believe and then are shocked when reality smacks them in the face.

P.S. After you read the article, be sure to scroll down and read the comments by more stressed out parents. Lots of bitching, and minimal backpedaling.


If you'd like to read more from regretful parents, click here.


Hannah said...

It reminds me of the people who sue McDonald's because they "weren't told the food was fattening."

Dave said...

I know you knew this, but propaganda=bingos.

These would-be parents needed to talk to CF people to give them a reality check. Then again, would they have believed us, no matter how good our lives were because we are CF?

Miss Silver said...

The more I see of these articles, the more I believe that the reason that people write them is because they're waking up and realizing that parenting is not sunshine and Cheerios, is not all heavenly fulfillment and carries a lot more negative than positive.

On one hand, I have to laugh. The people writing those articles and the mommies sympathizing act as though they had to be told all of this. It's something that doesn't really need to be told to someone with even a smidge of higher-reasoning skills. Exhaustion that one feels after a day of work will not get alleviated if one comes home to a passel of screaming rugrats who have yet to develop the concept of "let Mommy/Daddy get some rest." Something like this doesn't need to be spoken aloud, it should be reasoned. And yet people don't even stop to think that there is another option: redefine the "all".

On another hand - the cognitive dissonance between the bitching and backpedaling is dismaying. And a little disturbing. It takes rose-colored glasses the size and caliber of welder's goggle to still keep putting on the "it's soooo worth it!" even though the person knows very well that it's not and there's no way out.

Jamie said...

Ironically, all those bitching mothers found the time to read an obscure parenting article and leave a comment talking about how happy they are to be mothers.

Spare me. I knew even as a teen girl that motherhood would suck so I've avoided it.

MissCegenation said...

i'm personally having trouble continuing to be sympathetic toward my friends who are new mommies. i have one very close friend (i'll call her Jane), who has been a friend for about 10 years. she and i became even closer to after she and her husband moved out of the States. since then, we've emailed each other several times a day, almost every day. now Jane and i are living in the same city, and will be for the next year.

Jane has a toddler and another child under 1 year old. my husband and i were talking seriously about having children, until we lived with Jane and her family for about 2 weeks. that was the single-most eye-opening experience of my life, and my husband and i have now decided that a child-free life is probably what we're looking for. having kids does NOT look like fun, and we can't think of any rational reasons to do it. so, lately we've been talking at length about a life without children. we're excited! tons of travel and a house full of pets, sharp corners, and pointy things!

at any rate, i appreciate the fact that Jane is brutally honest with me about how difficult, frustrating, and exhausting her life is every day--without her i might not have had this epiphany so quickly. she can't wait to leave the States again so that she can afford a nanny and get back some of her autonomy. but i grow tired hearing her complaints every. single. day. a few times, i've just bluntly responded with, "well, you knew that was gonna happen, right?"

on the one hand, i want to be perpetually enthusiastic when my friends (and they're multiplying quickly) who have babies want to talk about their experiences. i know if i had something that was so life-altering, i might want to talk about it a lot of the time (good and bad).

but on the other hand, now that Jane and i see each other more often in person, i get frustrated that she has no energy, not a minute of focus for anything that i have to say, and an endless list of gripes about her experiences as a mom. maybe she's just venting. maybe she wants my sympathy. i'm not really sure. so i just try to listen and keep my mouth shut, and keep emailing her because that's the only way i can have space to talk to her about what's going on with me.

is it going to be this way with all of my friends who have kids? what is the point of all of their bitching? i mean, if you CHOOSE to do something as Herculean as raising kids...not that you should never complain, but what is the point of complaining incessantly about it? how could they not have guessed it would be as hard as hell?

well, thankfully for my husband and i, we saw the real story first-hand before we made a decision to have kids....

Fanboy Wife said...

It’s just kind of odd to me that people need to try so hard to convince themselves that their decision to reproduce was a good choice. I mean, they can’t say that it was a mistake because they’re dealing with other human beings. Do you really think we’d see so much back-pedaling and self-affirmations if these people really truly were ready for parenthood?

Jah said...

I love your blog! :) I don't want any kids of my own.. I never saw being childfree as an option, being a married was a given in this world where family basically means married with kids. but the reality is I don't want children. I'm so glad there are people out there the same as me! some great content here! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I don't get these people. Parenthood is a full-time job for life. That humongous responsibility on top of a full-time job is likely to cause chaos. Have another child...and another...and another and you're kind of asking for whatever misery you're feeling. Choices have to be made, and we must be accountable for our actions. "Having it all" is taking a lot of women down a long, rough road. It seems these people operate on impulse and emotion, then complain when their Kodak dreams don't come true.

About #7, though. That's true. I can still fit into my old clothes, but my body has wonky days. Shapewear helps.

CFVixen said...

You know, I have been experience the bitching more and more, and a little less backpedaling. Parents seem to be very open (at least recently) to telling me how awful things are, and only once in awhile am I getting the "but it's all worth it" backpedal. This is definitely a new phenomenon. Strange!

Corrinne said...

I just read the article and love that the last comment is now one about how could they have not SEEN how difficult it was. No one has answered hehe.

And like someone else said, I knew as a teenager how much it would suck and prevented it haha. I was fairly young (15) but darn it, I got to planned parenthood and got my BC and condoms, tyvm.

Something else I just had to express. I cannot figure out if it bothers me or not. My family is not at ALL surprised that I don't want kids lol I've sort of always disliked small kids and I didn't hide it when I was younger. Is it bad that it is do obvious?? I prefer kids that are at least 7 or 8... weird I know.

Spectra said...

Yeah, one of my husband's cousins has a wife that has two kids that she had really young and she's always posting crap on Facebook like "Bryghtten threw his poopy underwear in the dryer and I didn't know about it and now all my clothes have to be rewashed and I have to disinfect the dryer". I comment something like "Wow, that alone is enough to make me not want kids". And she says "Oh, but then they cuddle up to you and you forget all about it and just love them again!" Yeah, um, whatever. I'd just be pissed off about the situation and it would make me angry.

Unknown said...

Excellent blog and the content. I am happy to find out there are so many people out there with the same thought process as I am going through.

Childfreedom rocks. So much to do and so little time. And unless some committed parents absolutely want the experience of raising kids, there is not one rational reason to add another human to this overcrowded planet.